While all of the other presidential candidates are carving up different sectors of the Evangelical Christian vote and insulting each other in the process, one thing is clear, Senator Rand Paul is the favorite of the “young” Evangelicals.
Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, is one of the most important evangelical leaders in the country. He must keep the peace among the powerful televangelists and thus is meticulously neutral in the 2016 presidential race. But his son, Isaac Johnson, supports Rand Paul.
David Lane, labeled by the New York Times as “something of a stealth weapon for the right” has brokered meetings with evangelical leaders and most of the Republican candidates from Ted Cruz and Ben Carson to Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal. But his daughter, Jillian Lane, supports Rand Paul and works as his press secretary.
James Robison, televangelist, who is perhaps the most politically savvy Christian leader in the country, has met all of the Republican candidates and refused to make a commitment. But his son, James Randall Robison, supports Rand Paul. And recently co-authored a book with him.
Surprisingly, Christian youth, like their secular counterparts support Rand Paul for some of the same reasons.
Yes, there is his lonely stand against the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. There is his stand for criminal justice reform. There is his stand for Life. But the key to his support is his campaign against the corruption that has killed the free enterprise system. And that corruption has reached the point that it has become a moral crisis every much as important as abortion and religious freedom.
The only time Jesus lost his temper was when he saw how the moneychangers were cheating the people in the Temple. Well, the moneychangers are back.
The ongoing transfer of wealth to a tiny few has robbed the churches and the American youth of billions of dollars. Here’s how it works.
#1) Excessive regulations designed to protect the public are used to prevent start ups and the big companies are often exempted. It prevents young people from participating in the economy.
#2) Excessive taxes that subsidize some companies and penalize others have created monopolies. It prevents young people from participating in the economy. In some cases their own tax dollars are subsidizing their very own competition.
#3) Policies of the Federal Reserve which award multibillion dollar loans at zero percent interest to banks and big companies while new businesses must pay interest through the nose keep the money flowing to the very few. It prevents young people from participating in the economy.
#4) Those same companies buy the advertising from major media and get a free pass on the process in return. Candidates who stand up to the corruption see themselves as targets of that media or ignored. After all, the media giants are feasting off of the very same system.
When the previous Federal Reserve Chairman was asked why the FED had given an interest free loan over $100 million to the McDonalds Corporation he answered, “To create jobs.”
Ron Paul, the Senator’s father, was a candidate for president at the time and challenged the loan. At the next presidential debate the NBC moderator was given more time than Ron Paul. When Paul later complained to the host he was told, “I’m sorry Dr. Paul, a voice in my headset said, ‘Don’t go to Ron Paul, don’t go to Ron Paul.’” The McDonalds Corporation sponsors the NBC Evening News.
The FED’s answer to why some companies get loans at zero interest and others do not proves the point. Today’s economy has created $7 an hour jobs for graduates with Master’s and Doctorate Degrees. You can work at McDonalds but you cannot start your own Hamburger business.
For all but a very lucky few, the American dream is dead.
Senator Rand Paul has emerged as the only hope to save the country from this crisis.
While many candidates, from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, speak to the problem, there is no one else other than Rand Paul, who could even come close to providing a solution.
Bernie Sanders would take us deeper into socialism, already rejected by world history.
It was recently revealed that Ted Cruz, who publicly decries the pernicious role of the banks in corrupting the system, had his whole career financed by Goldman Sachs and hid that fact on his reporting documentation.
Donald Trump openly admits he gamed the system to build his businesses empire.
Brian Jacobs, a former consultant to the Billy Graham Organization agrees. “Pure religion is caring for the widows and orphans and how does that square with a monetary system that is rigged to keep out newcomers.”
It is theft. It has become a moral crisis. And both Republicans and Democrats are involved. Only Senator Rand Paul offers a solution.
“Now the trouble with trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.” – C.S. Lewis
The national media prides itself in its ignorance of religion but that can sometimes lead to unintentional blackouts, where the news makes no sense to them or anybody else. This past month we experienced such a blackout in American politics and so I am tasked with offering an explanation.
As you know, presidential candidate, Donald Trump announced we should temporarily ban all Muslim immigration into the U.S. The media is still puzzled about what he is up to. Most just chalk it down to his erratic behavior, a random act of trying to stay in the headlines.
Then there is the Ted Cruz lift off and the Ben Carson collapse. With no explanation for either one. It is just something that happened. Evolution.
Now, here is the skinny, I summarize for those of you locked into the Boston-New York-Washington corridor who have just a tad bit of intellectual curiosity. Those of us dirty, ignorant, religious rabble living on the outside knew this all along and have been watching with fascination as you have tried to put together this political rubrics cube.
On December 1, 2015, Sally Quinn wrote a piece for the Washington Post on “Why Ben Carson doesn’t believe in hell.” Now, I should point out that Sally Quinn is not your typical, left wing, ultra liberal bigot. She is an informed person who knows the width and breadth of American culture, including its Evangelical Christian plains and Southern cities. She has bumped into the 51% of Americans who claim to be “born again.” She and her late husband, Ben Bradlee, must have had a cousin or sibling or servant who was “born again” because they had a knowledge of how it works that not many in their circle can boast. So when Sally cornered Ben Carson, she knew what she was doing.
Unfortunately for him, Ben Carson, did not.
Sally asked Carson if he believed in a literal hell. Carson said he did not. He should have said, “None of your damn business.” Or, “The U.S. Constitution says there is no religious test for office. Now, if you want to give this list of questions to Hillary Clinton go right ahead but my faith is a very private and personal thing.”
But in that moment, Carson, who was leading in some national polls, was agonizing over how he was going to win the general election and, perhaps, how he was going to win the “Sally Quinn Caucus.” And so he gave his answer and those of us who understand religion know what followed.
61% of all Americans believe in hell. 87% of Evangelicals do. And who knows how high that number gets when you narrow it down to Republican activists most likely to vote in Iowa?
Soon after the Sally Quinn piece appeared, the Ted Cruz folks started passing it around the internet and the Carson bubble burst. Even Evangelicals who didn’t believe in hell started to slip away. Did it mean that Carson did not believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God?
The move to Ted Cruz became so pronounced that Bob Vander Platts, the Family Life-Tony Perkins- incarnation in Iowa, who prides himself with picking the winner, rushed to get in on the act. Wait for me, I am your leader. I am the guy who names the winner. People pay me money to endorse them. Vander Platts endorsed Ted Cruz on December 14.
Meanwhile, right after the Carson-Quinn interview from hell, insiders with Donald Trump saw a disaster in the making. The original thinking was that the Evangelical vote in Iowa would be divided between Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum. The Catholic vote would be divided between Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and, again, Santorum, who is a switch hitter. But now the Carson collapse was feeding into a Ted Cruz ascent.
The Trump camp was confronted with this reality. Cruz would win Iowa, cause an explosion of excitement, maybe lose New Hampshire to Trump the next week but come back to win South Carolina and lock in his place as the Trump alternative and win the nomination. Trump had to do something. And it had to be newsworthy. It had to be bigger than anything before it, which was a bit of a challenge. And yet it had to be something he could walk back later in the general election. Hey, forget the general election. If Trump didn’t win the nomination who cared?
And so, one week after Carson told Sally Quinn that there is no hell, Trump announced we should stop all Muslim immigration.
Two days later he also made a clumsy attempt to hurt Cruz by saying, “Not many Evangelicals come out of Cuba.” This was Trump trying to sew doubt about the purity of Cruz born again bona fides. Like other Trump statements there was a seam of something dark here. Was Trump trying to appeal to an imagined Evangelical anti-Catholic bias?
And that, my poor, dear, ignorant, religious free, members of the mainstream media, is how and why it all happened. I thought you should know. The rest of us do.
Here is the story in Newsmax
Yes, technically, if Ben Carson wins the American presidency he would be the first, openly admitted, Seventh Day Adventist in the White House. But there have been others that the Adventists could claim as their own and with good reason. Warren G. Harding comes to mind. The 29th president’s mother, sisters, brother and many friends were Adventists. Some of those friends and relatives were appointed to prominent positions of power.
There were widespread rumors – believed among Adventists – that Harding was only publicly a Baptist “for political reasons.” The embarrassing truth about Harding’s lusty lifestyle would not become widely known until his death and is even still unraveling thanks to recent DNA tests confirming that he was indeed the father of the illegitimate child he always denied.
Our current president, Barack Obama, has Adventist roots. His ancestors trace their spiritual lineage to Adventist missionaries in Africa. As the 2009 inauguration of Obama was planned in Washington, D.C. journalists descended on the Obama family in Kenya where they found two, rather evenly divided groups. Adventists and Muslims. The international press ignored the Obama Adventists and spent their time pursuing stories on the Islamic side of the family. Nevertheless, the Obama family roots in this faith are well established.
Now, leading in the polls in Iowa, GOP presidential candidate and neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, is getting a closer look and his religion is becoming bit of an item. Former Iowa front runner, Donald Trump, made a point to talk about it. “I’m Presbyterian. Boy, that’s down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh Day Adventist? I don’t know about that.” Trump’s apparent reckless and politically incorrect comments are usually much more calculated and nuanced than meets the eye. Here he is trying to make a point to born again Christians in Iowa. This guy is suspect. That group is a cult.
Nowadays, the beleaguered Evangelical Movement has no problem with a fellow Christian who calls himself a Seventh Day Adventist. As we learned at Columbine and Umpqua Community College, Christians are lined up and shot for their faith in this country. The killers don’t ask if you worship on Saturday, as the Seventh Day Adventists believe, or on Sunday, as most other Christians do.
Seventh Day Adventist, George Vandeman, who for years hosted the popular Christian television program, It Is Written, was widely loved and respected. The show was consistently ranked by the Nielsen Company as one of the top three most watched Christian television programs in America. Vandeman had a wide following of Catholics and Protestants.
In 1879, Warren G. Harding was at Ohio Central College, a Baptist institution, when his mother and aunt joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church. By some accounts all of his siblings were raised in the new faith. And while Harding clung to the his independent and more “worldly” lifestyle as a Baptist he was at times drawn to the doctrines and health practices of his mother’s religion of choice. Once suffering from depression a young Harding visited a sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan. It was run by the famous Adventist medical doctor, John Harvey Kellogg, who practiced holistic medicine and won fame for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal.
When Harding became president the door to power opened wide to Adventists. The president brought his own homeopathic doctor, Charles Sawyer, back to Washington. The presidents’ sister ran a program for unwed mothers. Her husband, Herber Votaw, a minister in the church, was appointed Director of the Federal Prison System.
Ironically, the Harding administration was one of the most scandal ridden presidencies in history. While the Adventist publications praised Harding during his time in power, they grew silent when after his death the skeletons began tumbling out of the White House closets. Harding, who kept a mistress, ran for office touting prohibition. Meanwhile, he privately loved his whiskey, which he served to guests in the White House in spite of the law.
Eventually, the scandals threatened to touch the church itself. Harding’s brother in law, Herber Votaw was accused of allowing a drug ring to operate freely in the Atlanta Penitentiary. The charges were unproven and Votaw left public life, returning quietly to work in the Adventist Church.
After Warren G. Harding, gun shy Adventists elders reflected sadly on their church’s brush with power, vowing to remain focused on spiritual matters, while earthly events could take care of themselves. But now, things have changed. This is a time when Christians are lined up an shot dead for their faith. There is a hostile media declaring open warfare on their values. And finally, there is the emergence of Ben Carson, a quiet, self effacing doctor, now a front-runner for the GOP nomination. He is not a descendent of Adventists like Obama. Or a friend of Adventists like Harding. He is the real thing.
See below: Doug Wead on the collapse of the Jeb Bush Campaign. 30 Seconds.
“No minister, anywhere, should ever have to submit a sermon to a government censor.” – Senator Rand Paul
Only minutes ago, Senator Rand Paul spoke up for the Houston pastors who have become the latest target in what religious leaders say is the city government’s ongoing war against its own churches. Messaging on Twitter, Senator Paul declared, “The First Amendment doesn’t exist to keep religion out of government. It exists to keep government out of religion.” Said Paul, “I stand with the pastors and churches in Houston against government interference and harassment.”
Houston city attorneys, under the direction of Mayor Annise Parker, have now subpoenaed sermons preached by selected pastors whom they believe are opposed to the city’s new agenda.
Here is a quick review of the unfolding drama in Houston.
Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly Lesbian mayor of a major city, promoted an ordinance banning anti-gay discrimination in the public and government subsidized venues. So far so good. But a controversial part of the ordnance allowed transgender citizens to file discrimination lawsuits if prohibited from a restroom. Was this a problem? Where there signs up saying, “No transgenders allowed?” Some Christian leaders now caught in the middle of the controversy contend that this was an angry politician, purposely poking the bear.
There were all kinds of discussions in the community. Who was to determine who was transgender and who was not? A doctor? A psychiatrist? Could a man suddenly declare himself a woman and enter a woman’s restroom? With under age children?
As the proponents of the ordinance hoped, the churches reacted with confusion and panic. There was a recall effort launched to get the ordinance on the ballot. The churches gathered more than 50,000 signatures. It was well over the 17,269 needed. And then the city poked again. The Houston city attorney declared that there were insufficient signatures.
The churches sued.
The city attorneys issued subpoenas for their sermons. And not sermons from the churches who filed the lawsuit. No, they wanted sermons from other pastors whom critics suspect were specifically targeted because they posed the biggest threat to the city’s agenda. The subpoena called for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by delivered by, revised by or approved by you or in your possession.”
Concerned Christian leaders insist that this is not a comedy of errors, that it is not a mistake but it is a systematic, purposeful attempt to silence and frighten the churches into changing their doctrines and suborning free speech. The city attorney’s will use taxpayer’s money to bankrupt the churches and silence their political voices. Thus the decision to go after the selected churches who were not even involved in the lawsuit with the city. It was much the same tactic that allowed the gay and lesbian takeover of the Episcopal Church, taking some congregations and using their resources to take over others. Only this time it is acted out in the public square with public money which will now be used to destroy the churches and silence their voices.
The city has deep pockets. In fact, the churchgoers, paying their taxes, will ironically finance the city of Houston in its war to destroy their own culture.
The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and other Liberal groups expressed alarm at the city’s overreach. Meanwhile, Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission expressed sadness at the events and astonishment at the “audacity” of the Houston City government’s attack on its own pastors and congregations.
Coincidentally, the day before the Houston subpoenas, Moore held a private meeting with Senator Rand Paul at the Senator’s office in Washington, D.C. Part of the conversation was about the war on Christianity unfolding in places around the world. Who would know what the next volley would be fired by the city government of Houston, Texas?
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has become the first public figure to openly declare what Christians have been bemoaning for the last generation, that there is a war against Christianity.
Speaking this afternoon before a gathering of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington D.C., Senator Paul said, “There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.”
Said Paul, “It saddens me to see countries that are supposedly our allies persecute Christians.”
Catholics and born again Christians have talked about the danger for years. In the 1990’s, during my stint in the White House, as special assistant to the president, I was constantly called on to help Christians who were thrown into prisons or slated for execution all over the world.
Meanwhile, Christian ministries in the USA visited the White House complaining that they had been targeted by the IRS, a fact that the agency actually confirmed to us at the time, without shame. When we tried to find an Evangelical Christian who worked in a top position at the agency who could help us understand the nature of the complaints we learned that there was only one known, born again Christian in the top 300 positions at the IRS. At the time 38% of the nation claimed to be born again.
It turns out that the token “born again” Christian at the IRS was a regional director in the non-profit division and a Catholic Charismatic by personal faith. He tried to help the agency understand that it could not dictate doctrine or discriminate against groups based on their faith. We had two meetings with him at the White House and kept the president apprised. I think back to that moment as I now try to grasp the fact that top IRS officials visited the White House more than 300 times under Barack Obama and supposedly never discussed with the president their illegal bias against conservative groups including their questions of what applicants said in their prayers
In his speech Senator Paul offered a litany of abuses by American allies.
“In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian, sits on death row. Her crime, according to her, is that she dared to drink from a glass that belonged to a Muslim co-worker.
“Recently, in Pakistan, a 12-year-old with Down syndrome was imprisoned and charged with a death penalty crime for burning the Koran.
“After weeks she was released after a local Imam was accused of actually sprinkling pages from an Arabic book into a fire near the little girl.”
Senator Paul is the first public official to suggest a legislative solution. “My bill said that Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan would get no more foreign aid from the US taxpayer unless they turned over the assassins that killed our ambassador, pledged and verified that they CAN and WILL protect our embassies, and in the case of Pakistan they must release Dr. Afridi.”
Afridi is the man who helped us identify Osama Bin Laden. He was tortured and in chains for a year without being charged and is even now in prison in Pakistan.
As obvious as it may be to stand up for Christians (25% of the USA are Catholic, 48% claim to be born again Christians) Senator Paul is practically alone in his work. 90% of the Senate voted against his bill that would have placed restrictions on foreign aid to nations that execute Christians.
“It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death,” he said today. “And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it.”
Senator Rand Paul warned against a foreign policy that sometimes has good intentions that backfire.
“Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter.
“Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run—persecuted or under fire—and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them.
“The new leader of Egypt is Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently, he stood by when a radical cleric said a prayer for the destruction of Israel and her supporters in his presence.
“Actually, it is worse, he did not just stand by, he was seen to mouth the word ‘Amen’ as the cleric said these words of hatred.
“How does your government respond?
“The bipartisan consensus in Washington vows to increase Egypt’s funding. The President is currently requesting a billion dollar increase in aid to Egypt. This is an outrage!”
Senator Paul admitted that his bold stand had made him unpopular in Washington and while his famous filibuster and other stands on civil liberties have given him exposure that his father never had, his concern about the torture and execution of Christians in allied nations has been panned by the media.
Says Paul, “It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end.”